Sunday, April 16, 2017

Will Lehigh Valley International Airport (KABE) need more land in the future?



Can Lehigh Valley International Airport attract 1 million passengers a year again? Or does its future rely on becoming a bustling air cargo hub for Amazon? Should it jump into the region's distribution center craze by building warehouses on the airfield? 

Those are among the questions airport officials hope to answer as they embark on a yearlong public process to map out the airport's next 25 years.

One thing that's certain: They probably won't be seizing private land to expand, a move during a previous master plan process that plunged the airport authority into a two-decade court battle costing it more than $30 million.

"It's a safe bet we won't be stripping any new runways across private property," said J. Michael Dowd, chairman of the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority, referring to a 1994 master plan calling for a runway on private land. "But we do have a chance here to vision the future and take advantage of some very interesting opportunities. This is pretty important."

The authority started building a new master plan for the 2,700-acre airport six months ago. The public's role starts Thursday during an open house, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the main terminal, where people may weigh in on airport issues. It will be the first of several public meetings to build, and ultimately, unveil the master plan.

Over the next year, officials will map out how they expect passenger counts to grow, how big air cargo will be, which land should be sold, and how the airport footprint generally should look in 25 years.

It's a process that's done about every 10 years, but this one is of particular importance because LVIA appears to on the doorstep of major transition. LVIA is one of 11 airports nationwide being used by Amazon for air cargo flights, and with e-commerce predicted to increase, it has a chance to make millions of dollars a year receiving packages that can be trucked throughout the Northeast. What started as one Amazon flight a day in 2015 is now five and that is expected to grow, especially during the Christmas season.

Airport officials have to determine how lucrative that can be and how much they're willing to invest to make it grow.

That is of great concern to Scott Haire, who grew up in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, where planes regularly flew over his home. He'll be there Thursday because he's wondering how the airport's decisions could affect whether his parents are able to sell their home next year.

"If these Amazon flights keep increasing, is that going to lower the value of their home?" Haire said. "These kind of decisions affect a lot of people."

Airport officials must also determine how much more land they're willing to sell and what development should be on that land, or whether they should keep the land and develop it themselves. They've already sold 260 acres, have another 155 acres under agreement and are seeking bidders for 300 acres.

Whether the authority sells or develops the land, a question arises of how many warehouses should be built, and what type of traffic and congestion issues they could cause.

That issue will bring Robert Nappa to the open house. Nappa lives in a 197-year-old farmhouse in Allen Township, where a FedEx Ground plant is under construction and several other warehouses are planned.

"I'm not a guy who doesn't want this in my backyard. My backyard is irrelevant," Nappa said. "This is about the overall character of the Lehigh Valley. These massive facilities should be built near [Interstate] 78, not in a cornfield in Allen Township."

Authority Executive Director Charles Everett Jr. said the future is wide open to LVIA. That's a departure from five years ago, when the airport was so cash-strapped that it had to cut services and lay off staff. That financial stress actually dated to a master plan process in 1994, when officials laid out a new airport map that showed a third runway across development land in Allen and East Allen townships. Developers WBF Associates sued, claiming the airport's mere mention of the runway wrecked their plans for a golf course community. After 15 years in court, the authority lost a $26 million judgment and spent more than $4 million in attorney fees.

Everett won't repeat that mistake, but said the airport will have to plan for expected growth in both passenger and air cargo traffic in the coming years.

"We know things are changing quickly," Everett said. "E-commerce will be a bigger factor in travel, and in terms of passengers, there's more competition than in the past because every airport has low-cost providers. There's a lot to consider."

The best news, Dowd said, is the airport doesn't have to mortgage the future for short-term gain. Since paying off the court debt last year, the authority has money in the bank and a financial forecast that will allow it to embark on capital projects that can benefit the airport in the longer term.

"We're not in survival mode anymore," Dowd said. "We have a chance to look at the future as a great opportunity. It's all before us. We can have a great impact on the Lehigh Valley if we do this right."

Story and video:  http://www.mcall.com

Eurocopter Deutchland GMBH MBB-BK-117 C-2, operated by Air Methods Corp, N145HN: Accident occurred April 26, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Healthnet Aeromedical Services Inc:  http://registry.faa.gov/N145HN

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA265
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 26, 2016 in Pittsburgh, PA
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER DEUTSCHLAND GMBH MBB BK 117 C-2, registration: N145HN
Injuries: 5 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 26, 2016, about 1500 eastern daylight time, a Eurocopter Deutchland GMBH MBB-BK-117 C-2, N145HN, operated by Air Methods Corp, was substantially damaged during cruise flight to West Penn Hospital Heliport (PN80), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The commercial pilot, three crewmembers and one patient were not injured. The on-demand air medical flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a company flight plan was filed for the flight that originated from Grafton City Hospital Heliport (22WV), Grafton, West Virginia, about 1430.

The pilot reported that the patient transfer flight was the second flight of the day, following maintenance work that was performed on the helicopter earlier that morning. The patient transfer flight was uneventful; however, after landing the pilot noticed that the left vertical fin cowling had partially separated and came in contact with a tailrotor blade. The pilot added that 8 of the 11 fasteners on the left vertical fin cowling were unlocked.

Examination of the tailrotor blade by representatives from the helicopter manufacturer revealed that the tailrotor blade had sustained substantial damage.

Examination of the helicopter by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the Dzus fasteners on the right vertical fin cowling remained secured while the Dzus fasteners on the left vertical fin cowling were unlocked, consistent with them not being properly secured by maintenance personnel following the maintenance work that was performed.

Additionally, the operator reported that there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter.

Plane drops 10,000 Easter eggs in Tifton County, Georgia (with video)



TIFTON, GA (WALB) -

On Saturday, it definitely was not your traditional Easter egg hunt in Tifton.

A plane flew over Journey Church and dropped 10,000 Easter eggs. 

Along with a massive Easter egg hunt, kids also played in bounce houses, a slide and had lunch. 

But, as you can imagine, most of the young ones had a favorite part of the day.

"Playing with my friends and stuff and hunting eggs. Then a plane came over and dropped 2,000 eggs," said attendee Samuel Pritchard.

This was the first year the church had a plane fly over to drop eggs.

Story and video:   http://www.walb.com

Flight Design CTSW, N466CT: Accident occurred April 06, 2016 near Hilton Head Airport (KHXD), Beaufort County, South Carolina




The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Columbia, South Carolina 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N466CT

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA148
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 06, 2016 in Hilton Head Island, SC
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN CTSW, registration: N466CT
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 6, 2016, about 1530 eastern daylight time, a Flight Design Gmbh CTSW, N466CT, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The sport pilot and one passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Cape Fear Regional Jetport (SUT), Oak Island, North Carolina about 1400, and was destined for Hilton Head Airport (HXD).

The pilot reported that he was approaching HXD from the west, and reported to tower personnel that he was 8 miles out. He made a midfield call, retarded the throttle to 4,200 rpm, and descended from 1,300 feet above mean sea level (msl) to 1,000 feet msl. A few seconds after reducing the throttle, the engine "ran rough" for a few seconds, then shut down and would not restart. The pilot did not attempt to apply carburetor heat. He set up for best glide speed and maneuvered for a forced landing on a golf course. After landing, the left wing struck a tree and the airplane came to a stop.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. The airplane struck a tree and came to rest upright. He observed structural damage to the composite leading edge of the left wing. The fuel system contained about 4.5 gallons of fuel. The fuel appeared to be free of contaminants and water. The air filter was clean and compression was observed on all cylinders.

Following the examination of the engine and fuel system, the owner leveled the airplane and started the engine with the FAA inspector providing oversight. The engine started, produced power, and no discrepancies were noted.

According to the 1550 weather observation at HXD, located about 2 miles southeast of the accident site, the temperature and dew point were 64 degrees F and 54 degrees F, respectively. According to the carburetor icing probability chart in FAA Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin CE-09-35 (Carburetor Icing Prevention), dated June 30, 2009, the temperature/dew point at the time of the accident was in the area of serious icing at glide power.











NTSB Identification: ERA16LA148
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 06, 2016 in Hilton Head Island, SC
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN CTSW, registration: N466CT
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 6, 2016, about 1611 eastern daylight time, a Flight Design Gmbh CTSW, N466CT, was substantially damaged following a total loss of engine power and forced landing at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The sport pilot and one passenger were not injured. The light sport airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight from Oak Island to Hilton Head Airport (HXD) originated about 1400.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the aircraft was about 9 miles north of HXD and the pilot was instructed to report midfield downwind. The pilot subsequently reported that his engine was "out" and performed a forced landing on a golf course, about 2 miles north-northwest of HXD.

An inspector with the FAA responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. The airplane struck trees and came to rest upright. Structural damage to the composite wings was evident. The wing fuel tanks contained fuel. A cursory visual examination of the engine revealed no evidence of a mechanical failure. 

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

How to beat the steep price of medical helicopter service and ambulance




An ambulance ride, if you’re in an automobile crash or fall and break a leg, comes with a steep price tag; in Yavapai County, it can cost over $1,600.

If you need especially urgent treatment, or to be flown by a medical helicopter to a Phoenix trauma center, the cost can be well in excess of $10,000, sometimes twice that.

The problem, of course, is that insurance does not cover the entire transport bill, and paying the out-of-pocket cost can be a hardship.

But in this area, there’s help available, if you plan ahead. Here’s how to do it.

Life Line Ambulance

Life Line Ambulance, owned by American Medical Response, is nearly a monopoly in the Quad Cities. (Mayer Fire also operates its own ambulances.)

Life Line offers a cost-saving “subscription” plan that costs $50.73 a year.

When subscribers need what Chief Operating Officer Glenn Kasprzyk calls “medically necessary” emergency or non-emergency ambulance transportation, they pay nothing out of pocket. The “Life Care” subscription covers whatever insurance does not.

It covers all family members who live in the subscriber’s home as well.

There are roughly 5,000 subscribers in Life Line’s coverage area.

“Today, we have folks with high-deductible (insurance) plans, we have Medicare patients with a high deductible,” Kasprzyk said, and this plan is useful “even if they don’t use it for two or three or four years, because of all the high-deductible plans and the cost of health care … if you have an ambulance trip and your out-of-pocket cost was a thousand dollars,” you would still save hundreds of dollars.

Ambulance billing is done primarily based on the distance driven plus a base fee and cost of drugs or materials used.

That means the farther a patient is from the hospital, usually Yavapai Regional Medical Center, the more expensive the trip will be.

Kasprzyk said that is a good reason for people living in Chino Valley or Paulden, for example, to subscribe.

He said a hypothetical patient living in Paulden, 26 miles away from YRMC, would have a base plus mileage of $2,000, and that doesn’t include medical supplies that might be required.

Subscriptions are taken only in September, and last for one year. Call 928-445-3814 for more details.

Native Air helicopter

Medical helicopters work somewhat differently. Native Air, owned by Air Methods, operates two in this area — Native 4 and Native 14, with one based at each campus of YRMC. But if both are tied up or if more aircraft are required, which happens from time to time, a helicopter from Guardian Air in Flagstaff may be dispatched. On rare occasions, a Department of Public Safety helicopter might be used.

Native and Guardian are both owned by Air Methods, a Denver-based company.

Spokesperson Christina Ward declined to give The Daily Courier an average cost for a transport or to explain specifically how that cost in calculated. “Our charges are comparable to average charges by other non-hospital affiliated air medical service providers,” Ward said in an email.

“We work with patients one-on-one to help them receive reasonable and appropriate reimbursement from their insurance company and to determine what they can reasonably pay,” she said. “After the emergency is over, our team of patient advocates work with our patients to help them navigate the complex and often frustrating process of seeking fair reimbursement from insurance companies.”

The company offers a subscription plan to cover the cost that insurances does not. “Air Methods Advantage” membership plans cover out-of-pocket costs for medically necessary flights.

The plans start at $40 per year, and family plans cost $75 annually for members with primary health insurance coverage. Family memberships provide coverage to the member, their spouse or partner and their dependent children younger than 26, including dependent adults who live with them and are covered by health insurance.

Advantage covers you in 35 states where Air Methods operates.

Even those without insurance can buy a membership, and it will cover the complete cost of transport.

Neither the Life Line or Air Methods plans are retroactive; you must have purchased them before the need arises. 

Original article can be found here:  https://www.dcourier.com

Piper PA-22-150, N4356A: Accident occurred March 02, 2016 in Fountain Hills, Maricopa County, Arizona




The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N4356A

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA079
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 02, 2016 in Fountain Hills, AZ
Aircraft: PIPER PA 22-150, registration: N4356A
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On March 2, 2016, about 1600 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-22-150 airplane, N4356A, executed a precautionary landing onto a sandy wash following a partial loss of engine power near Fountain Hills, Arizona. The private pilot and passenger were not injured; and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, a private party as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IWA), Phoenix, Arizona at about 1540.

The pilot reported that after a normal preflight and run-up, he took off and circled a nearby mountain before descending to about 750 feet above the ground at a 2,400 RPM. As they followed a nearby river, the engine started to sputter and decrease to about 900 RPM; the pilot increased and decreased the throttle several times, but the engine never went above 1,200 RPM before it decreased again. He observed that the oil pressure was low; therefore, he attempted to switch fuel tanks, turned on carb heat, ensured the mixture was full rich, but the engine never responded. The pilot elected to land the airplane onto a dry wash. When the airplane touched down, the right main landing gear sunk into the dirt and the airplane made a sharp turn to the right. The airplane rolled along the dirt, impacted a tree, and came to rest nose down.

During a postaccident examination by a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector, the engine cowling was removed and no visual anomalies were noted with the engine. The propeller and spinner were removed; and a test run propeller and temporary fuel tank were installed. The engine was started and operated normally; slowly, the power was increased to 2,400 RPM and the oil pressure was normal. After operating for a short time, the power was decreased and the engine was shutdown. There were no anomalies noted that would have precluded normal operation.






NTSB Identification: WPR16LA079
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 02, 2016 in Fountain Hills, AZ
Aircraft: PIPER PA 22-150, registration: N4356A
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On March 2, 2016, about 1600 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-22-150 airplane, N4356A, executed a precautionary landing onto a sandy wash following a partial loss of engine power near Fountain Hills, Arizona. The private pilot and passenger were not injured; and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, a private party as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IWA), Phoenix, Arizona. 

The pilot reported that they were flying low, about 700 feet above the ground, taking pictures of the river when the airplane's engine started to sputter. The pilot added full power and ensured that the mixture and carburetor heat were full forward. Unable to regain full power, he landed the airplane on a sandy wash. During the landing roll, the airplane sunk into the sand and the right wing impacted vegetation. The airplane nosed over and came to rest with its back against a berm. 

The airplane has been recovered to a secure location for further examination.

'Printed' parts to lighten load for Boeing 787 Dreamliner



In the most literal sense, Boeing's carbon-fiber-covered Dreamliner is a lightweight as widebody commercial jets go.

But a deal with a Scandinavian company could help the planemaker trim a few more pounds from the fuel-efficient 787 airframe, while adding more than a few bucks to the bottom line.

The first-of-its-kind order will supply Boeing with structural titanium components created by sophisticated 3-D printing machines rather than casting them the old-fashioned way.

Those critical metal parts, in turn, will be incorporated into the 787s assembled in North Charleston and Everett, Wash., currently at a rate of 12 a month.

Announced Monday, the contract with Norsk Titanium is expected to help trim as much as $3 million off the cost of each plane and help chip away at the $27 billion in previously incurred Dreamliner production costs.

“From the outset, the 787 has been the hallmark of innovation and efficiency,” said John Byrne, Boeing’s vice president of airplane materials and structures. “We are always looking at the latest technologies to drive cost reduction, performance and value to our customers, and Norsk Titanium’s … capability fits the bill in a new and creative way.”

According to a report by Reuters, titanium makes up about 15 percent of every 787, costing Boeing an estimated $17 million for each jet that rolls off the assembly line.

The company has been eyeing ways to lower that expense for at least two years.

“Specific materials at times are cost drivers, so looking at alternative materials is part of what we do,” Boeing technology chief John Tracy told The Post and Courier during a visit to Columbia in 2015.

Aluminum has never been a suitable replacement for the pricier alloy, in part because of weight, strength and durability factors.

Also, aluminum corrodes when it comes into contact with carbon fiber, the lightweight manmade material that makes the 787 such a fuel miser.

Norsk announced a deal at last summer’s Farnsborough International Airshow to provide Boeing with engineering samples of its 3-D titanium.

The Oslo-based company has said its printing technique - the technical term is “rapid plasma deposition” - requires less energy and fewer raw materials than traditional forging and machining. 

“During our patented robotic layer-building process, titanium wire is precisely melted in an inert argon gas environment and monitored 2,000 times per second for quality assurance,” Norsk said on its website.

The Federal Aviation Administration has certified the company's first 3-D parts, clearing the way for the 787 deal announced Monday.

“We are proud to take this historical step with a great aerospace innovator like Boeing,” Norsk CEO Warren Boley Jr. said in a statement. “The Norsk Titanium team will continue to expand the portfolio of components supplied to Boeing meeting stringent certification requirements." 

Another company official was slightly more enthusiastic than the boss, predicting that ”the floodgates" are set to fly open for more work, to help Boeing lighten the 787 load even more.

"You're talking about tons, literally," Norsk marketing executive Chip Yates told Reuters.

Just like most other parts that go into making the largely outsourced 787, the new components will be manufactured overseas, in Norway. At least the early batches will be. Norsk said it intends to shift production to the United States, to Upstate New York, later this year.

Original article can be found here:   http://www.postandcourier.com

Cessna 172G Skyhawk, N3969L: Fatal accident occurred May 03, 2015 at Penn Yan Airport (KPEO), Yates County, New York

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA203
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, May 03, 2015 in Penn Yan, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/20/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N3969L
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On the morning of the accident, the student pilot departed from his home airport and flew to two other airports before returning to his home airport. None of these cross-country flights were conducted under the supervision of a flight instructor nor was there any documentation available to show that the student was endorsed to conduct these flights. Upon reaching his home airport, the student pilot entered the traffic pattern to land on the 5,500-ft-long runway with a prevailing right quartering tailwind. A pilot-rated witness reported that he saw the airplane approach the runway "high and fast," that it was about 100 to 150 ft above the ground as it crossed over the runway threshold, and that it then appeared to "float" down the runway. He then lost sight of the airplane. Another witness noted that, after touching down near the midpoint of the runway, the airplane lifted off and reached about 50 ft above the ground, at which point, the engine power increased. The airplane then began climbing steeply and then banked left, making an arcing flightpath that continued to ground contact. Based on available evidence, the investigation was unable to determine whether the pilot was attempting to conduct a go-around following the previous landing approach, or was conducting a touch-and-go landing when the accident occurred.

Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of any mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Although fuel drained from the airplane after the accident contained water, witness statements and wreckage signatures were consistent with the engine operating normally to ground impact. The flaps were found extended 40°; however, airplane manufacturer guidance stated that during a go-around climb, the "flap setting should be reduced to 20° immediately after full power is applied" and that "flap settings of 30° to 40° are not recommended at any time for takeoff." It is likely that the inappropriate flap setting for the initial climb contributed to the student pilot's failure to maintain airplane control.

Although the student pilot's autopsy identified the presence of coronary artery disease that could have caused acute symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, or fainting, there was no evidence of any such event occurring.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The student pilot's failure to maintain airplane control during the initial climb. Contributing to the accident was the student's inappropriate configuration of the airplane's wing flaps for the initial climb.


Steven P. Seely


The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Rochester, New York 
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Steven P. Seely: http://registry.faa.gov/N3969L




NTSB Identification: ERA15FA203
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, May 03, 2015 in Penn Yan, NY
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N3969L
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 3, 2015, at 1134 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172G, N3969L, impacted terrain and an airport perimeter fence during initial climb at Penn Yan Airport (PEO), Penn Yan, New York. The airplane was being operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The student pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at PEO about the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Finger Lakes Regional Airport (0G7), Seneca Falls, New York, about 1115.

On the morning of the accident, the pilot contacted flight service and requested a weather briefing for a flight from PEO to Oswego County Airport (FZY), Fulton, New York, departing about 0730 and returning about 1100. The briefer advised the pilot of the current conditions at PEO and FZY, the forecast sky conditions for the area, and the NOTAMs applicable for the proposed flight.

Review of airport security video footage showed that the accident airplane began taxiing at PEO about 0800. Data downloaded from a handheld GPS receiver recovered from the accident site showed that the device began recording on the morning of the accident at 0818. The airplane's first recorded position was about 22 nautical miles (nm) northeast of PEO, roughly along a course line between PEO and FZY. Over the next 17 minutes, three additional positions were recorded, the last of which was at 0835 and showed the airplane about 3 nm south of FZY. The next position was recorded at 0944 and showed the airplane about 2 nm southwest of FZY. Over the next 17 minutes, three additional positions were recorded; the last recorded position showed the airplane about 5 nm northeast of 0G7.

The airplane arrived at 0G7 on the morning of the accident, and the student pilot spoke with his mechanic. According to the mechanic, he and the pilot discussed an ongoing issue with the airplane involving water contamination of its fuel. The pilot and mechanic then drained about 1 quart of fuel through the fuel strainer before it was clear of water. At the pilot's request, the mechanic inspected the airplane's right main landing gear, relubricated the wheel bearings, and reinstalled the wheel and tire. The mechanic noted no discrepancies with the landing gear, wheel, or brakes during his inspection. The mechanic stated that the pilot departed 0G7 about 1100 and planned to return to PEO. After departure, three GPS positions were recorded starting at 1117; the first recorded position showed the airplane about 1.5 nm southwest of 0G7, and the final position, which was recorded at 1129, showed the airplane about 2 nm southeast of PEO.

Airport security video footage from PEO showed a high-wing airplane on approach to runway 19 at 1131. During a second approach to the runway at 1134, the airplane crossed the runway threshold at a significantly higher altitude than during the first approach. Review of the videos could not determine whether the airplane touched down during either of the approaches, based on the viewing angle of the camera.

A pilot-rated witness observed the accident airplane in the traffic pattern for runway 19 before the accident. Regarding the second approach, he stated that, as the airplane turned left from the base leg of the traffic pattern, it was in a "very aggressive slip." About the same time, he observed the windsock and estimated the wind to be from about 320° and "greater than 10 knots." He stated that, while on final approach, the airplane appeared to be "high and fast." He estimated it was about 100 to 150 ft above the ground as it crossed over the runway threshold, and it then appeared to "float" down the runway. He then lost sight of the airplane behind terrain and obstructions. He realized that the airplane had crashed when he saw first responders arriving at the airport several minutes later. He noted that, during the landing approach, the flaps appeared to be fully extended, the propeller was rotating, and the engine sounded as if it was at idle speed.

Another witness was located on a golf course adjacent to the airport near the midpoint of runway 19. When he first saw the airplane, it was almost abeam his position adjacent to the runway, and it looked like it was taking off. He added that the engine sounded "normal," and the climb appeared normal from the time the airplane lifted off until it reached about 50 ft. At that point, the airplane began climbing at a faster rate than it had been previously and then banked left. The airplane also appeared to be higher and climbing faster than other airplanes he had previously observed about the same location. He added that the airplane then descended while continuing the left banking arc, as if the left wing was "tied to the ground with a string."

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a student pilot certificate and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate, which was issued on January 20, 2014. The medical certificate was issued with the limitation, "Must wear corrective lenses." The pilot's flight logs were not recovered.

According to the pilot's flight instructor, the pilot had completed some initial flight instruction in an airplane that belonged to a local flying club. The pilot began flight training with the flight instructor about 1 year before the accident, and all of their flights were in the accident airplane. The flight instructor endorsed the pilot for solo flight around October 2014. After completing additional dual instructional and solo flights, the pilot took a hiatus from flying during the winter, and they began their training again in March 2015. At that time, the flight instructor provided the pilot with an additional 90-day solo endorsement. The flight instructor had not yet provided the pilot with an endorsement to fly to airports other than PEO and was not previously aware that the pilot had flown his airplane solo to FZY and 0G7 on the morning of the accident. The flight instructor estimated that the pilot had accumulated 40 total hours of flight experience.

The flight instructor reported that the pilot generally performed well landing the airplane but that landings were his weakest area. During their training, they practiced performing go-arounds from a full-flap configuration, and the pilot excelled at it. The flight instructor also thought it was important to fly with the pilot in strong crosswinds, and as such, the additional challenge of these conditions delayed his initial solo. By the time the pilot did solo, the flight instructor had confidence in his ability to handle crosswinds, and, recently, his landings had greatly improved. Their last flight together was on April 29, and it was a cross-country flight to Zelienople, Pennsylvania. The flight instructor stated that, during all of his flights in the accident airplane, he did not note any mechanical discrepancies.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to FAA registration records, the pilot purchased the accident airplane in May 2014. A review of maintenance logbooks revealed that new main and nose landing gear tires were installed on May 15, 2014, at an airframe total time of 4,558 flight hours. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on August 17, 2014, at an airframe total time of 4,575 flight hours and 784 hours since the engine's most recent overhaul. An airframe maintenance log entry made the day of the accident noted that the right main landing gear wheel bearing and brake pads were installed, and that the wheel bearing was regreased and then reinstalled. At the time of the accident, the airframe had accumulated 4,625 total flight hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1135 weather observation at PEO included wind from 310° at 8 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 73° F, dew point 37° F, and an altimeter setting of 30.08 inches of mercury.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Runway 19 at PEO was 5,499 ft long and 100 ft wide. The approach end of the runway had an elevation of 916 ft, and the departure end of the runway had an elevation of 987 ft, or a 1.4% gradient. A two-light precision approach path indicator was available at both runway ends.




WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest upright with the right wing resting on the airport perimeter fence, about 300 ft left of the runway centerline and about 2,800 ft from the runway 19 approach threshold. All of the major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. Areas of disturbed soil and intermittent ground scars extended from the initial impact point oriented on a magnetic heading of 145°. A piece of left wing navigation light was located in the wreckage path about 20 ft from the initial impact point. About 15 ft further down the path, a ground scar was found oriented 90° to the path, about the length of the propeller diameter and the width of a propeller blade. About 2 ft further down the path was an impact crater that was 3 ft wide and 8 ft long and contained paint chips and windscreen fragments, followed by the main wreckage, which came to rest oriented on a magnetic heading of about 340°.

The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft flange, and both blades displayed s-bending, chordwise scratching, and leading-edge gouging. The engine remained partially attached to the firewall by its mounts. The nose landing gear was fractured and separated from the airplane at the firewall attachment point, consistent with impact. The nose section from the firewall forward had separated from the fuselage on both sides, and the windscreen was fractured and separated from the fuselage. The outboard portion of the left wing was deformed upward and displayed aft crush damage, consistent with ground contact. The right wing displayed a concave depression and was deformed aft beginning outboard of the wing strut.

First responders reported that, upon their arrival, they observed fuel leaking from the left wing near the vent tube and that they subsequently drained about 7 gallons of fuel from the left wing and about 10 gallons of fuel from the right wing. Fuel samples from both tanks displayed a color and odor consistent with automotive gasoline. A trace amount of water was detected in the sample from the left wing and in fuel recovered from the carburetor float bowl.

Flight control continuity was established from each control surface to the cockpit area. The elevator trim tab actuator position was consistent with 5° to 10° of tab deflection in the nose-up direction. The flap actuator extension was measured and found in a position consistent with a 40° flap extension. The front seat tracks and seat roller brackets for both seats were checked for wear and found to be within prescribed limits. The left seat positioning rod was found bent forward about 1 inch from the engagement end.

The engine crankshaft was rotated by hand at the propeller flange, and continuity was confirmed from the valve and powertrains to the rear accessory gears. The oil screen and paper oil filter element were unobstructed and free of metallic contamination. The spark plugs were removed, and the No. 6 cylinder plugs displayed black-colored, carbon-type fouling. Thumb compression was confirmed on all cylinders. The fuel strainer screen and carburetor inlet screen were free of debris. The carburetor floats were intact, and both displayed concave, inward, uniform deformation. The magnetos were removed and actuated by hand, and spark was observed at each of their respective terminal leads.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Geneva General Hospital Laboratory, Geneva, New York, performed an autopsy of the pilot. The reported cause of death was "crash related injuries." The autopsy report also identified significant coronary artery disease with a heart weight of 510 grams. The right ventricle was 0.5 centimeter (cm) thick, and the left ventricle was 1.5 cm thick. In addition, all three main coronary arteries were narrowed at least 50% and up to 75% by atherosclerosis, but there were no areas of scarring from previous heart attacks. The liver and stomach were also mildly inflamed.

The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute performed toxicological testing on specimens from the pilot. The results were negative for ethanol, carbon monoxide, and drugs.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to the 1966 Cessna Model 172 and Skyhawk Owner's Manual, "Slips are prohibited in full flap approaches because of a downward pitch encountered under certain conditions of airspeed and sideslip angle." Additionally, the manual stated that "In a balked landing (go-around) climb, the wing flap setting should be reduced to 20° immediately after full power is applied," and that "Flap settings of 30° to 40° are not recommended at any time for takeoff."

Warbird gets nod to be put on historic list

Dick Maddock has spent more than 616 hours volunteering for the Rocky Mountain Wing Commemorative Air Force at the former Walker Field. Many of those hours were spent working on this TBM Avenger torpedo bomber. 



You can see the TBM Avenger in the opening scene of the 1977 movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Among several of the WWII airplanes, the one now on display at the Commemorative Air Force Rocky Mountain Wing Museum is the one with its engine running.

The warbird has enjoyed a fascinating history already, but the vintage aircraft just made history again. It is one of two aircraft in the U.S. to have earned a historical distinction. A party Saturday at the museum near the Grand Junction Regional Airport celebrated its inclusion into the Colorado State Register of Historical Properties.

Breathing life back into the aircraft that flies today has been “a monumental task,” said Rich Conner, one of about 100 volunteer members of the TBM crew who has worked to restore the aircraft. The Avenger has been part of the Rocky Mountain Wing Commemorative Air Force since 1985 and volunteers worked until 1989 to get the plane operational again.

The Avenger was on display Saturday at the museum’s hangar and open to the public. Some folks sat in the cockpit or the seat behind the pilot and checked out the area for the gunner.

Historically, the aircraft held space for three: one pilot, a gunner and another in the belly of the aircraft.

Connor thinks about things like this when he’s been on some 40 flights in the plane. The cockpit is not comfy for a four-hour flight, and it certainly wouldn’t have been pleasant on 10-hour search missions for young pilots who went seeking the enemy off aircraft carriers.

“They went out in any kind of weather, without GPS coming back to aircraft carriers that were probably in a different place,” Connor said.

He said there are 16 remaining TBMs in existence. The aircraft is called “the turkey” for the unique way its wings fold nearly vertically when coming in for a landing.

Kent Taylor, wing leader for Rocky Mountain CAF, said earning the historical designation took tenacious work and more than two years of volunteer effort. Having the status will enable the group to apply for grant funding. Taylor said the group will be starting a campaign to raise $300,000 in the hopes of expanding the museum, operating out of bigger hangar space.

The museum is a good way for young and old to connect through aviation, especially as the U.S. is facing a pilot shortage, said Jodi Doney, spokeswoman for the Grand Junction Regional Airport.

“This inspires people to get into aviation and keep the story alive,” she said. “Very few airports have museums like this. This touches all age groups.”

The Avenger is on display at the museum, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday, or by appointment. The museum also has a Piper J-3, called a Grasshopper. The aircraft represent the largest and smallest single-engine aircraft used by American forces in WWII.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.gjsentinel.com

Beech 35-33 Debonair, N305Z: Air-traffic controller lauded for saving two souls (with video)

William R. Reid Jr: http://registry.faa.gov/N305Z




Avon air-traffic controller David Stempien accepting his medal at the 2017 NATCA safety conference last month in Las Vegas last month. He is credited with saving two lives by helping to guide a stricken aircraft to safety. (NATCA Photo)


William and Cecilia Reid of West Virginia, at the 2017 NATCA safety conference last month in Las Vegas. David Stempien, an Avon air-traffic controller, is credited with helping to save their lives in October by guiding their stricken aircraft to safety. (NATCA Photo)


CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Since March 6, William and Cecilia Reid of Clarksburg, West Virginia celebrated their respective birthdays.

That may sound trivial, but those events are milestones for them because an air disaster in October nearly killed them, but for the intervention of a 30-year-old air traffic controller at the FAA's Cleveland Center in Oberlin, which covers parts of Ohio, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the western edge of Maryland.

David Stempien received their thanks and the Archie League Medal of Safety at the National Air Traffic Controllers Association's annual safety conference, last month in Las Vegas. The award is named for the first air traffic controller, hired at what is Lambert St. Louis International Airport in 1929.

Stempien was among 10 air-traffic controllers to receive the League Medal -- one each from eight FAA regions, and two from the Great Lakes Region, including Stempien, a Michighan native with 10 years at the FAA, now living in Avon.

His calm and measured response also put the Reids on a course to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in June, Cecelia Reid said by telephone Friday.

In October, they were in a Beechcraft Debonair, a four-seat, single-engine low-wing aircraft flying from Clarksburg to Lake Placid, New York. Stempien hailed the reeds using the plane's N number -- N305Z -- which appears on its fuselage and wing.

That day, Stempien was controlling an area that included parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

"November Three Zero Five Zulu," he said, before directing the plane to an altitude of 9,000 feet above sea level that the pilot had requested as part of his flight plan

Five minutes later, an open microphone broadcast the sound of panic as a murderous updraft and downdraft caused William Reid to lose control of the aircraft.

Stempien heard Reid yelling. "Let go of the yoke. Let go of the yoke. Let go of the yoke."

The plane had two yokes, referring to things like steering wheels that control the aircraft's elevator flaps and ailerons that work with the rudder to make it turn.

Cecelia had grabbed one yoke during the buffeting by the up- and down- drafts.




"All right. Is everybody OK, 305Z? You all right?" Stempien asked.

Stempien saw on his radar screen that the Reids' altitude was 8,100 feet; then 7,400; 8,500; 7,800; 6,900 and, finally, 5,000 feet.

Eventually, the pilot responded, and Stempien issued guidance to "follow your instruments," and "trust your instruments," in an effort to help the pilot regain control.

"I did show him descending, I did not have any information on what the exact problem was," Stempien said by telephone Friday. "I was racking my brain to figure out what was wrong and what I could do to help."

If the problem was mechanical, he could do little, but if it was spatial disorientation, he could assist.

So the instruction to heed the aircraft's instruments followed.

Cecilia Reid suggested Friday that spatial confusion was a factor. Around 20 miles east of Morgantown, West Virginia, they saw pea-soup fog and "we were looking at a wall of gray all the way around."

She said that at one point "I saw green hillside with green trees (hinting that they were much closer to the ground than originally believed). I thought we are dying here today, then peace came over me, then we were safe.

"David just calmed everything down, we got out of danger, we were level," she said.

At one point she heard the stall warning, she said, referring to stall speed, which is the point when an airplane is not going fast enough to maintain lift. (An equation governing powered fixed-wing flight is that lift plus thrust must be greater than weight plus drag.) She said there was also evidence that they had flown inverted because the doors to the wingtip fuel tanks were open.

Stempien said they regained control at 5,000 feet, a mere hundred feet above what is recognized as the lowest safe altitude. "If it would have taken 30 seconds longer to regain control, this could have ended very differently," he said matter of factly.


The FAA's Cleveland Air Route Control Center in Oberlin, known less formally as Cleveland Center


In October, Stempien gave them a range of options for a safe landing. They chose Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, about a week after the airfield's golf-superstar namesake had died.

That night they dined with William Reid's brother, Bob, who interjected a note of gallows humor when he said, "Well, at least you didn't meet Arnold."

Cecilia Reid, who attended the NATCA 2017 safety conference with her husband, William, said of the the air traffic controllers who were honored in March that "they were so humble. They would say, 'I'm just doing my job.'"

Thus, another less formal equation: An equal number of successful take-offs and landings is considered a good thing. Thus ends that chapter in the Reids' story.

Because one air traffic controller was just doing his job.

Original article can be found here: http://www.cleveland.com

Beech 35 Bonanza, N988RH: Fatal accident occurred July 26, 2015 near Riverside Municipal Airport (KRAL), California




The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Riverside, California
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors Inc; Mobile, Alabama 

Aviation Accident Final Report -  National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board:   https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary -  National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

KEITH C. DAVIS:  http://registry.faa.govN988RH

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA222 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 26, 2015 in Riverside, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/04/2017
Aircraft: BEECH F35, registration: N988RH
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot was receiving vectors for an instrument landing system approach during daytime visual flight rules conditions when he advised the controller that the engine had lost power and that he needed to land at a nearby airport located northeast of his position. The controller responded with the distance and direction from the airport and asked the pilot if he had the airport in sight, which he acknowledged. The controller advised the pilot to proceed inbound to the airport, told him that he could land on the runway of his discretion, and asked him to tell him which runway he was going to use; however, the pilot only responded that he was going to land into the wind. The controller repeated that the runway was at his discretion and the pilot repeated that he was going to land into the wind. Shortly after, the controller provided the pilot with the current weather conditions at the airport, which included wind from 280° at 12 knots gusting to 18 knots, and he then cleared the pilot to land on runway 27. Subsequently, the pilot responded that he was not going to make it to the airport. No further radio communications were received from the pilot.

Review of recorded radar data revealed that, when the pilot initially reported the loss of engine power, the airplane was about 1,644 ft above ground level; traveling on a heading of about 094°; and about 1.65 nautical miles (nm) west-southwest from the approach end of runway 34, 1.74 nm southwest of the approach end of runway 9, and 2.3 miles southwest of the approach end of runway 27. The radar data showed the flight track of the airplane continued on an easterly heading until it was about 0.96 nm south of runway 27 and about 653 ft above ground level. The airplane then turned left to a northerly heading while continuing to descend until radar contact was lost.

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the landing gear were in the extended position and that the wing flaps were extended to about 20°. A postimpact fire and impact damage precluded a determination of the fuel quantities in all three fuel tanks. The engine test run did not reveal evidence of any preexisting anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The reason for the loss of engine power could not be determined.

The Pilot's Operating Handbook for the accident airplane states that the maximum glide configuration includes landing gear and flaps up, cowl flaps closed, propeller low rpm, with an airspeed of 105 knots. With this configuration, the glide distance is about 1.7 nm per 1,000 ft of altitude above the terrain. It is likely that, if the airplane had been properly configured for a maximum glide distance and if the pilot decided to turn directly toward runway 34 or runway 9, for a downwind or crosswind landing, the airplane would have been able to reach either of those runways.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The total loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined during postaccident examination of the airplane and engine. Also causal to the accident was the pilot's decision to attempt to reach the farthest runway and land into the wind instead of conducting a crosswind or downwind landing at a closer runway following the loss of engine power.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 26, 2015, about 1704 Pacific daylight time, a Beech F35, N988RH, was destroyed when it impacted a power pole and terrain during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Riverside Municipal Airport (RAL), Riverside, California. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions were reported at the airport about the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from Brackett Field Airport, La Verne, California, about 1619.

Review of air traffic control (ATC) audio recordings and transcripts provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that a Southern California Terminal Radar Approach Control (SoCal TRACON) controller was providing the pilot vectors for the instrument landing system 26R instrument approach at the Chino Municipal Airport, Chino, California. The SoCal TRACON controller issued the pilot a heading change from 070° to 350°. Shortly after, the pilot responded that he had lost engine power and needed to land at RAL. The controller responded with the distance and direction to RAL and asked the pilot if he had the airport in sight, which the pilot acknowledged. The controller advised the pilot to proceed inbound to RAL, told him that he could land on the runway of his discretion, and asked him to tell him which runway he was going to use. The pilot responded that he was going to land into the wind, and the controller repeated that the runway was at his discretion and asked how many people were on board. The pilot responded that he was the only person onboard and repeated that he was going to land into the wind.

Shortly after, the controller relayed the current weather conditions at RAL, which included wind from 280° at 12 knots gusting to 18 knots, and cleared the pilot to land on runway 27. Subsequently, the pilot responded that he was "not going to make it." No further radio communications were received from the pilot.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 52, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating, which was issued February 2, 2013. He was issued a first-class airman medical certificate on April 1, 2014, with the limitation that he "must have available glasses for near vision."

Review of the pilot's personal logbook revealed that, as of the most recent entry, dated June 19, 2015, he had accumulated a total flight time of 443.9 hours.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The four-seat, low-wing, retractable-gear airplane, serial number D-4131, was manufactured in 1955. It was powered by a 225-horsepower Continental Motors E225-8 engine, serial number 30406-D-4-8. The airplane was equipped with a Hartzell model HC-A2V20-4A1, 2-bladed, constant-speed propeller, serial number AK1334.

Review of the airframe and engine maintenance logbook records revealed that the most recent annual and 100-hour inspections were completed on October 5, 2014, at a tachometer time of 609.40 hours and total time since major overhaul of 606.4 hours. The engine was overhauled on April 5, 1999, at a total engine time of 4,428.6 hours and subsequently installed on the airframe on May 12, 1999, at a tachometer time of 3 hours. The most recent maintenance performed on the engine was the replacement of a carburetor valve door assembly, alternate air door spring, and induction filter on May 29, 2015, at a tachometer time of 729.9 hours.

The pilot operating handbook for the F35, section III, Emergency Procedures, page 3-6 states in part:

"MAXIMUM GLIDE CONFIGURATION
Landing Gear – UP
Flaps – UP
Cowl Flaps – CLOSED
Propeller – LO RPM
Airspeed – 105 Knots/121 MPH

Glide distance is approximately 1.7 nautical miles (2 statute miles) per 1,000 feet of altitude above terrain."

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1653, the RAL automated weather observation station, located about 0.50 mile north of the accident site, reported wind from 290° at 12 knots, gusts to 19 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear sky, temperature 30° C, dew point 16° C, and an altimeter setting of 29.87 inches of Mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane struck a power pole and power lines about 0.50 mile south of the approach end of runway 27. The first identified point of impact was a power pole, which exhibited a downed wire and impact marks about 40 ft above ground level. Portions of the right flap and ruddervator were located immediately adjacent to the power pole. The right wing was located about 40 ft beyond the power pole in the middle of a residential street. The main wreckage, which consisted of the fuselage, left wing, engine, and left ruddervator, was located about 89 ft from the power pole. The wreckage debris path was oriented on a magnetic heading of about 045°.

Examination of the airframe revealed that the right wing was separated outboard of the right main landing gear. The wing exhibited fire damage to both separated areas. The aileron remained attached via all its mounts. The right flap was separated into two sections, which were located near the first identified point of impact. The right main landing gear was observed in the extended position. The right main fuel tank was mostly intact. The fuel line fitting at the root of the fuel tank was separated. About 6 gallons of 100-low-lead fuel was drained from the fuel tank. The right auxiliary tank was consumed by fire.

The left wing remained attached to the fuselage and exhibited fire damage throughout. The inboard portion of the wing from the flap aileron junction was mostly consumed by fire. The outboard portion of the left flap remained attached to the wing; however, the inboard portion was consumed by fire. Both the left main and auxiliary fuel tanks were consumed by fire. The aileron remained attached via all of its mounts and exhibited fire damage. The left main landing gear was observed in the extended position.

The flap actuator was measured and was found to be in a position consistent with 20° flaps.

The fuselage came to rest inverted and exhibited extensive fire damage. A majority of the bottom of the fuselage forward of the baggage compartment was consumed by fire. Oil residue was observed on the aft area of the fuselage structure. The instrument panel was consumed by fire and exhibited multiple instrument displacement. The radio panel was fire damaged. The throttle, mixture, and propeller controls were found in the full-forward position and were fire damaged. The fuel selector valve was heavily fire damaged. The fuel screen was free of debris, and the selector valve was found in a position consistent with the auxiliary position.

The empennage was mostly intact. The right ruddervator was separated and severed into two pieces. A circular impact mark, consistent with the size of the power pole, was observed and extended to the spar.

Both propeller blades remained attached to the propeller hub. One propeller blade was bent aft about 90° midspan. The opposing propeller blade was bent aft slightly midspan and exhibited a slight forward bend about 5 inches inboard from the blade tip.

The engine remained attached to the engine mount via all its mounts. All of the engine accessories remained attached to the engine. The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft. The propeller was moved by hand and rotated about 1/2 inch. Throttle, mixture, and propeller control continuity was established from the cockpit to the engine. The throttle and mixture control cables were separated from their respective control arms, consistent with impact damage. The engine was removed from the airframe and was shipped to the Continental Motors Inc., facility for further examination.
The engine was examined on November 16 and 17, 2015. To facilitate an engine run, the propeller governor was removed, and a blanking plate was installed. The oil sump was impact damaged with multiple holes noted. The oil cooler exhibited impact marks, consistent with striking the left magneto. Engine-to-magneto timing was 30° for the right magneto and 19° for the left magneto. Scrape marks were observed on the mounting flange of the left magneto, consistent with impact from the oil cooler. The left magneto was adjusted to an area where the scrape marks originated, and timing was verified at 25°. A test propeller was installed along with various fuel lines and control cables to facilitate an engine test run. The engine was installed on an engine test stand and run at various power settings uneventfully until being shut off using the mixture.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Riverside County Coroner conducted an autopsy on the pilot. The medical examiner determined that the cause of death was "massive blunt force injuries to torso."

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) performed toxicology tests on specimens from the pilot. According to CAMI's report, the results were negative for carbon monoxide, volatiles, and all screened drugs.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Review of FAA radar data and ATC transcripts revealed that, when the pilot initially reported the loss of engine power, the airplane was about 2,425 ft mean sea level (msl), or about 1,644 ft above ground level (agl); traveling on a heading of about 094°; and about 1.65 nm west southwest from the approach end of runway 34 at RAL, 1.74 nm southwest of the approach end of runway 9, and 2.3 nm from the approach end of runway 27. The radar data depicted the flight track of the airplane continuing on an easterly heading until it was about 0.96 nm south of runway 27 at an altitude of about 1,400 ft msl or about 653 ft agl. The airplane then turned left to a northerly heading while continuing to descend. The last radar target was located about 0.1 nm west of the accident site at an altitude of 775 ft msl.








 










NTSB Identification: WPR15FA222 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 26, 2015 in Riverside, CA
Aircraft: BEECH F35, registration: N988RH
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 26, 2015, about 1704 Pacific daylight time, a Beech F-35, N988RH, was destroyed when it impacted a power pole and ground during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near the Riverside Municipal Airport (RAL), Riverside, California. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was fatally injured. There were no reported ground injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The local flight originated from Brackett Field Airport (POC), La Verne, California, about 1619.

Information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that the airplane was receiving vectors for the instrument landing system (ILS) 26R instrument approach at the Chino Municipal Airport (CNO), by Southern California Terminal Radar Approach Control (SoCal TRACON). Review of the recorded communication between the pilot and SoCal TRACON revealed that the pilot was issued a heading change to 350 degrees by the controller. The pilot responded shortly after that he had lost the engine, and needed to land at Riverside. The controller responded with the location of RAL, and asked if the pilot had the airport in sight, which the pilot acknowledged. The controller advised the pilot to proceed inbound to RAL and that he could land on the runway of his discretion. The pilot responded that he was going to land into the wind, and the controller repeated that the runway was his discretion, and asked how many people were on board. The pilot responded that he was the only person onboard and that he was going to land into the wind.

Shortly after, the controller relayed the current weather conditions at RAL, which included reported wind from 280 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 18 knots, and cleared the pilot to land on runway 27. Subsequently, the pilot responded that he was not going to make it. No further radio communication was received from the pilot.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane struck a power pole and power lines about .50 miles south of the approach end of runway 27. The first identified point of contact was a power pole, which exhibited a downed wire and impact marks about 40 feet above ground level. Portions of the right flap and right ruddervator were located adjacent to the power pole. The right wing was located about 40 feet beyond the power pole, in the middle of a residential street. The main wreckage was located about 89 feet from the power pole, in a residential yard and consisted of the fuselage, left wing, engine, left ruddervator, and a downed street light pole. The wreckage debris path was oriented on a heading of about 045 degrees magnetic. All major structural components were located within the debris path. The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.